Fifteen breastfeeding mothers with their babies protested a “no breastfeeding” policy at a family water park in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday.
Katie Buhler, who was visiting the Seven Peaks Water Park in Salt Lake City and is the mother of three children, was discreetly breastfeeding her seven month old son under a blanket when she was approached by female lifeguard. She was told to stop breastfeeding her baby by the Seven Peaks Water Park employee.
At the time, Buhler says that she was caught so off guard that she did not know how to respond to the lifeguard. She ultimately decided to remain at Seven Peaks Water Park but later called and spoke to a water park manager. She was dissatisfied with the reply that she received from the manager. As Buhler told ABC4 in Salt Lake City:
“She told me that it’s their policy and I said why, and she said this is a family friendly environment and we want to keep it that way.”
Buhler states that the manager told her either to leave the Seven Peaks Water Park or to breastfeed her one in one of the bathrooms. She replied: “Water is all over the floor, there’s no nursing room, nothing…so if they want me to go the bathroom, then they need to fix that.”
Unfortunately, the “no breastfeeding” policy that the manager referred to is in violation of both Utah state and federal breastfeeding laws. Utah is one of forty-five states with laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location as well as one of twenty-eight states with laws that exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws.
In response to the “no breastfeeding” policy at Seven Peaks Water Park, Buhler and her husband moved their fight against the park online to Facebook. After receiving hundreds of supportive responses, they organized a group to protest the issue, gathering outside the water park on Saturday.
Says Carol Buffi, a licensed clinical social worker and Buhler family friend:
“If they don’t want nursing mothers exposed to the public, then they need to provide a quiet place for mothers to nurse.”
However, even if Seven Peaks Water Park were to provide nursing rooms for mothers who wished to feed their babies in a more private local, any policy that prohibits or limits public breastfeeding is against the law.
What do you think about the protest against the “no breastfeeding” policy at the Seven Peaks Water Park in Salt Lake City, Utah?